ABIDJAN, June 18 (Reuters) - Major chocolate traders in
Ivory Coast are failing to pay a $400-per-tonne premium on beans
aimed at curbing farmer poverty, the country's cocoa regulator
said in a draft letter seen by Reuters on Friday.
The Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) said companies including
Mondelz International Inc were offsetting the Living
Income Differential (LID) by offering a negative country
differential - normally a premium of 70 to 150 pounds ($99-$212)
per tonne to reflect the quality of Ivory Coast's beans.
Mondelz said it was paying the full LID. "(Mondelz) does
not offer or have any influence over negative country
differentials," the company said in a statement to Reuters.
Buyers have been pressing for the country differential to be
turned into a country discount, so farmers receive the extra
cash but prices stay globally competitive.
"In recent weeks, when we have seen an upturn in economic
activity and therefore in demand, the major groups have refused
to pay the LID," CCC said.
The world's top cocoa producer has been locked in talks with
exporters over the price of its beans as a bumper crop and weak
global demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic, coupled with
the introduction of the LID, pushed down sales.
"(We will) stop all the sustainability and certification
programs of Mondelez that are ongoing with Cargill, and all the
other exporters," said an official at CCC who asked not to be
In November, Ivory Coast and Ghana suspended Hershey Co's
cocoa sustainability schemes in their countries for six
days, accusing the U.S.-based chocolate maker of trying to avoid
paying the LID.
"Unlike Hershey, this time we are going to be tough on
chocolate makers who want to bypass the LID. For us this is
unacceptable," the CCC official said.
(Reporting by Ange Aboa in Abidjan
Writing by Hereward Holland
Editing by Matthew Lewis)